Wednesday, 4 May 2016

Mink Pink at JOY Maxi Dress

London weather is really teasing with one day being hot enough to spend lunchtimes eating ice cream in the park and the next day giant hail stones appearing from no where but this week seems a bit more promising with yesterday being warm enough for a little afternoon sunbathe and apparently temperatures hitting the 20s later in the week! The radio said that, that means that on some days its going to be hotter than Ibiza.

Talking of which, I booked up two holidays this week and I am SO excited! My first trip is later this month and I cant wait for some proper sunshine! We arent going for long but that hasnt stopped me buying a whole new wardrobe for the occasion. I went to Lakeside with my mum earlier this week as as well as buying a couple of bikinis then, I've ordered 6 more.. oops. Look, Summer is finally on its way and I want to be ready!

I was sent this amazing dress by Mink Pink at JoY a couple of weeks ago and this is definitely coming with me! I can imagine wearing it for one of those warm evenings eating dinner and drinking cocktails by the beach! It's fitted at the top and floaty with a slit at the bottom which is perfect for a holiday date night. And if the weather reports are telling the truth, it might even get an outing sooner!
P.S. If you in Soho today, why not pop down to Bateman Street and visit the Dairy Milk Medley Lounge? They're offering a free head massage, a hand and arm massage or a luxury manicure to show off the joyful and luxurious experience that comes from tasting one of their new medley bars! They're launching two new flavours - biscuit and fudge or my favourite, caramelised hazelnuts and raspberry pieces!

Most spaces are booked up but they have some walk in slots too! I went yesterday for a half hour massage at lunch and ate much more chocolate than I should have. Definitely worth a visit!


Tuesday, 3 May 2016

Lunch at Le Pain Quotidien

I am in the terrible habit of buying lunch every day. I know, it's expensive and I could save loads by bringing in food but it is seriously the highlight of my working day and I feel sad when I haven't got a nice lunch to look forward to. As much as eating nice food, I love to get out of the office for an hour and usually go exploring with Juanita. There's lots to be seen in Fitzrovia and recently, rather than visiting a new shop to pick up something exciting to go, we've been enjoying actually having a sit down lunch in a restaurant.

Whether it's google, or more recently, Instagram, I am always hunting for new places to visit and I recently came across Le Pain Quotidien, a cute little Belgium chain with a pretty delicious looking menu and after a quick search, I realised that we walk past our local one, on Tottenham Court Road every day. So today, we went in.
We arrived at 12:30 and the lunch time rush had already started - it was already packed out. We found a table by the window and setteled down for an hour. I could already tell this place was going to be good. There was a little takeaway counter at the back which was full of delicious looking bread and cake and some very yummy looking specials up on the board. As for the menu, it had some many perfect lunch time choices from salads to tartines (much more on this to come) and lots of hot options.
It was the first time I'd ever seen a whole section on the menu just for tartines. Actually it was the first time I'd ever heard of a tartine in the first place. I soon learned that an open topped sandwich actually had a name, it was a tartine - and their choices looked just my style - three of them had avocado on them! I went for chicken avo and feta and I think I made a good choice. Plus it didn't make me fall asleep at work afterwards (this has definitely happened) so maybe just once slice of bread at a time is the way forward!
Piled high with toppings (which I was very pleased about as I have been known to shun bread altogether in the past when it comes to sandwiches.) The bread was smothered with smooth avo and topped with thick strips of chicken and chunks of tomato, then sprinkled with feta cheese.

I'm actually starting to love feta on things that aren't salads. The scattered pieces give a nice little kick of flavour.
Juanita ordered the potato and chorizo frittata. I didn't know what a frittata was either but turned out its similar to an omlette but much chunkier with much more filling. It came with a large plate of salad and a couple of slices of bread.
We also decided on hot chocolates and we're both very amused when Juanitas turned up with a teddy bear in the froth. It's much harder to do with soya milk so mine had a simple love heart but still, when your just expecting a plain drink to arrive it was a lovely, happy surprise that made us both smile. 
We smiled a little harder when we realised the hot chocolate came with a little jug of more chocolate that you could add to flavour. No testing needed. We both tipped the whole thing straight in. 
 To finish off we picked up a tart each to take back to work! One lemon and one strawberry with thick whipped cream underneath. SO delicious and the perfect late afternoon pick me up.
*Our lunch was complimentary in return for this review although all thoughts are 100% my own. And we will be going back very soon.
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Friday, 29 April 2016

Breakfast at Darwin, Sky Garden, London

In many ways, I am not a typical blogger, I don't wear make up, I don't take my outfit photos in South Kensington and I don't really like macaroons (shh) but when it comes to brunch, I am as cliche as it gets. Although, to be fair, I loved avocados waaay before they were cool - I have been eating them with a spoon straight outta the skin for as long as I can remember! 
I am always on the look out for exciting new places to have breakfast around London and this time we had it on the 36th floor. There are so many sky high bars and restaurants popping up all over the place at the moment that it's hard to choose which one to go to, especially with so many charging extortionate prices and sometimes, the food really doesn't live up to its ridiculous price tag that which can be really disappointing. Darwin at The Sky Garden is not one of those places - we had the loveliest breakfast!
For those of you who dont know, Darwin is part of The Sky Garden at the top of the walkie talkie building (aka 20 Fenchurch Street) on the 36th floor. They serve breakfast until 11 and have an incredible view over London.

We arrived at 9.30 and it got busier and busier, it's certainly a popular place for breakfast and I can see why! Everyone seemed so pleased to be there, it was such a lovely experience to walk past for many happy people chatting away together and enjoying their breakfast, I guess if your up and in London at that time in the morning on a Saturday then its because you really want to be there!
We were seated straight away by a very smiley waitress. Something I noticed pop up in one review after another when I checked Tripadvisior beforehand was that all the staff are lovely and I was very pleased to be able to agree with them, you really do notice when staff are good. Apart from that, the place is very bright and airy and the decor is simple, laid back and understated, it kind of had a bit of a Scandinavian vibe which I liked alot. 
Also, I wanted to point out that when you go to place like that you want a table with a view and I was so pleased to see how cleverly they had laid it out so that most of the tables for two were by the window meaning that as many people as possible would be able to have the incredible view.
We started with a few drinks whilst we had a little look at the menu. Andrew had a coffee while I had a fresh mint tea which is something I love so much in the morning, super fragrant and refreshing. We also went for a juice each - Andrew went for his usual big glass of orange and I picked something off of the smoothie menu called Pash ‘n’ Shoot which was a mix of passion fruit, pineapple & mango.
I was pretty pleased to see quite a few healthy options available on the menu as well as alot of other choices, although there is no tearing me away from my avocados.

 Andrew went for Severn & Wye smoked salmon, scrambled eggs & toasted rye bread (£13.50) and of course, I had smashed Avocado on toast, poached eggs with tomato & chilli salsa (£10.50.) The prices here are very reasonable and we have definitely paid more for breakfasts on ground level! I got a very healthy portion of the green stuff with two perfectly poached eggs which oozed down the mountain of avocado as I cut into them. I also love when it comes with a tart tomato salsa as it cuts perfectly the creamy avo.
 Andrew also had a lovely big portion which he really enjoyed as well!
 We just wanted to sit there and chat all morning, even when the food was all finished. It had such a lovely atmosphere and was just a really nice place to be - we ended up staying for about an hour and a half - through which time the staff just kept coming back and topping up our water, we didnt feel obligated to order more or rushed at all.
Breakfast was lovely and a combination of all of my favourite things so of course I was going to enjoy something like that! We will definitely be returning and hopefully bringing Andrews parents along next time, We're sure they'll love it too!

*Our breakfast was complimentary in return for this review although all thoughts are 100% my own

Wednesday, 27 April 2016

#FlavoursOfLisbon with Monarch Airlines

I did loads of cooking classes last year and although I did enjoy them, it started to get a bit samey, you know what I mean? Especially when I cant even cook in the first place! But it's been a while since I've done a good old cooking class so when an invitation to a Portuguese one to celebrate Monarch’s new flight path to Lisbon popped into my inbox earlier this week I was ready to give cooking another go and very excited to try something different!
We made pork and clam stew and then Portuguese custard tarts for dessert! Dessert over starters Every. Single. Day.

We chopped and we mixed and we burnt some custard (yes, that was my fault - sorry team) and then we all sat down to eat.
The stew was surprisingly good - I don't usually like pork but it had loads of flavour!
 I was in a huge rush to get home so I had to leave before the custard tarts were served but I did get to take one with me which made for a very enjoyable tube journey. It was still hot and so delicious, I've never had one before but I am a real fan now

Monday, 25 April 2016

Wedgewood Afternoon Tea at The Langham

Tea at The Langham
Last month, The Langham launched their new afternoon tea inspired by classic Wedgwood collections, and I went along to have a little preview! I've been to The Langham for tea in the past and let me tell you, its pretty good! 
The new tea has been created by Cherish Finden who is Executive Pastry Chef at The Langham London and the loveliest lady! She was there all evening to talk us though how each dessert came to be and you can see from how to talks about each one just how passionate she is about her job.
The tea is super pretty and fun, decorated with flowers and butterflies just in time for spring! We had the perfect evening to go with it, one of those lovely bright, warm evenings in town you know? 
For me, usually the sandwiches are my favourite part of afternoon tea but I was so impressed with some of the delicious cakes that I went back for seconds! The sandwiches although, were pretty amazing with a selection of truffled duck egg brioche, Smoked salmon asparagus and rye, Cucumber with cream cheese and chives, Peppered beef pastrami with red Leicester coleslaw and Corn-fed chicken with golden sultana on carrot bread. The truffled egg was the most delicious - it was so decadent.
As for those desserts - They were all lovely but I'm just going to chat to you about my top three! Butterfly Bloom was salted caramel so obvs I was going to love that. A shortbread tower held together with caramel, decorated with white butterflies and the prettiest pattern down the sides.
The macaroon was mini but it packed a punch in the flavour department! Wild strawberry with pistachio cream hidden inside with the print on the front replicating the ‘Wedgwood Wild Strawberry’ design. 

I also really loved the ‘Hathaway Rose’ which I thought was just a pretty victoria sponge slice but as I tasted it, I was hit with refreshing lemon in the sponge with a raspberry and lime jam. It was really delicious
Of course there were scones in between and The Langham have that down to a T! The scones here are always good! Cherish has a great team behind her at the Langham and it was great to be able to meet them and give them a round of applause for the amazing food they'd created afterwards!
For the rest of the evening, we were treated to endless plates of food all washed down with champagne - I didnt ever want to leave!


Friday, 22 April 2016

Barry M Coconut Infusion Nail Polish

Coconut has taken over the health and beauty scene in recent years and with its many benefits it makes sense that so many brands are jumping on board. The oil can be used for everything from making your hair super soft to removing make up, whitening your teeth and even cooking - while coconut water is packed with simple sugars, electrolytes, and minerals which help keep your body hydrated.

Barry M are always working on new and innovative formulas so it wasn't a surprise that their latest release is infused with both coconut oil and coconut water. Introducing the Coconut Infusion Range. 

L-R: Flamingo, Surfboard, Tiki Hut, bikini,Starfish, Laguna, Skinny Dip, Aloha & Sunkissed
I went along to the press launch which happened to be a yummy coconut themed breakfast held on Soho rooftop on a pretty lovely, sunny day! We started with coconut smoothies, I had a chocolate and banana one, followed by a fruit salad with coconut chips, granola with coconut yoghurt and raw honeycomb (yum) and I went for the healthy option so, buckwheat and quinoa porridge - that's a 4 course breakfast guys - I was stuffed afterwards. The perfect way to start the day because in case you haven't noticed yet, I love breakfast!
Of course we were introduced to the polishes there but I couldn't wait to get them home so I could give them a try! I took home the cutest goodie bag with all of the polishes, some more of my favorite vita coco coconut oil, coconut water and this beauty - its a phone charger!
Now for the polish! First impressions? I love the packaging, from the pretty colour of the lids to the cute coconut font on the front. As for the colours, I firstly described them as dirty looking pastels, do you know what I mean? Although it was a different story when I started to use them, they were very fresh, bright pastels, not too pale and not dirty looking at all.

 Barry M advise that you apply these without a base coat so that the Coconut in the formula can penetrate straight into you nails helping to hydrate and nourish them. Who has time for a base or even a top coat anyway?! I never use either.

I don't often have a gel manicure because I sometimes react to it but that means that I am always on the look out for a polish that can give me a similar look, that shine is a hard thing to replicate and to be honest, I wasn't expecting much from these in the way that they'd look because they are about the nourishment but I was seriously impressed with how shiny these polishes are. And even more impressed with how long they stayed shiny for, it lasted for the whole time the polish was on.
I started off with Laguna because blue is my fave. I think my one had a bit of a dodgy brush because the others didn't look like that but even so, the formula is so easy to maneuver that I didn't have too much of a problem, it went on so smoothly and also dried really quickly which is a big plus.
Theres not much I can tell you about how they affect my nails at the moment but hopefully with a few uses, my nails will start to see the benefits!

Whats Your Favourite Shade?

Wednesday, 20 April 2016

LIFESTYLE: The Häagen-Dazs Little Gardens range

Hasnt it just been perfect ice cream weather this week? Yesterday, I bought myself lunch (and a tub of ice cream obvs) and ate it outside in the sunshine. So it is pretty good timing for Häagen-dazs who  have created their first floral-themed flavours, called Little Gardens, sold exclusively in Liberty.

I was invited along to the launch, at Libery nonetheless, where we met head taster for Haagen Dazs and heard about some of the ideas behind the flavours. As a seasoned ice cream eater (I could SO be head taster) I thought it was only fair to give you my opinion of the new flavors.

So let me introduce them: Lychee Raspberry Rose and Apricot Lavender - In the prettiest packaging, designed by a team of botanical artists from Paris, they fit perfectly in with Liberty's vibe. I left the launch with one of each and of course, the another beautiful bunch of Liberty flowers. I love launches at Liberty!
Collectively, I can tell you that both are delicate and floral flavours, which for this seasoned ice cream eater was a whole change. They are very sophisticated, adult flavours where I'm used to the chocolates and caramels of the ice cream world. In keeping with the Häagen-Dazs quality gold standard, both varieties are made from a base of only 4 kitchen-friendly ingredients - fresh cream, real milk, sugar and free-range eggs.  
Separately, I didn't really like the Lychee Raspberry Rose, it wasnt terrible, I did love the raspberry swirl but the rose ice cream was just a bit too overpowering for me, when I'm not a huge fan of rose in the first place.
The Apricot Lavender, on the other hand, was light and summery with a thick apricot sauce and real Moroccan apricot pieces. The lavender was there but it wasn't overpowering like the rose, this is an apricot flavour with a touch of lavender, not the other way around. 
Available exclusively at Liberty London for £5.95 from April 11th

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Sunday, 17 April 2016

LIFESTYLE: Saturday Night with Money Supermarket

With Britain's Got Talent starting last week, Money Supermarket got in touch regarding their new advert which was planned to play during the first ad break! The Money Supermarket ads are always hilarious and I actually love BGT, its my favourite of all the Saturday night shows so of course Andrew and I were going to watch it anyway, luckily for us they asked me to throw a party and invite some friends round so we could all watch it together.

Andrew took charge and decided we were going to going to have a themed night, he wanted everyone to feel like they had stepped into a world of luxury so he decided he was going to welcome our guests in style by getting dressed up to hand them a glass of champagne as they arrived.

Party prep started at 4pm - we made another trip to Tesco (I've written three blog posts today and mentioned our trips to Tesco in each one - very exciting stuff) to pick up supplies - we decided on a takeaway for later on so it was just a matter of lots of alcohol for the boys and lots of snacks for me! 

 I was going to make brownies but I didnt have time so I settled on chocolate dipping strawberries as my little bit of cooking for the evening! Also on a silver dish since Andrew was taking this theme thing pretty seriously now.
I finished my strawberries and stuck them in the fridge before our guests started to arrive! Andrew gave them their champagne and took them through to the front room where we settled down for the evening with our snacks!
The night was loads of fun with BGT keeping us entertained and a huge indian feast for dinner afterwards!

Havent seen the ad yet? Check it out! Whos your favourite?


Friday, 15 April 2016

FASHION: Completely Converse

Ooh how exciting, it just so happens that I'm wearing this top for work today, what a coincidence! I'm wearing it today, with black jeans and my black and white converse though because obvious, its raining.

Along with the top (and the tracksuit bottoms below), I actually also ordered my first ever pair of leather converse trainers - but they are bright white and didnt go too well with the rest of my outfit so I swapped them out for one of my many other pairs of converse! They are seriously going to be perfect for summer though, I loved wearing my white canvas ones last year but the leather ones just have that luxe look about them.

 I currently have seven pairs of converse on the go in all sorts of colours. I have been known to have three pairs of the classic black and white low tops at the same time as well! I think I've mentioned it before but I would say they are my most worn style of shoe (RE: first paragraph) and I never want to be with out a pair so thats why I keep three! One's usually covered in mud from when I ignored my dad telling my that the place we walk Molly has turned into a swamp, another pair for everything else, work, shopping, traveling - all sorts and a last pair brand new in the box ready for when they are needed! They are perfect for day to day whatever the weather.

This outfit is weekend me all over! With Andrew and I, unless we are going somewhere posh, it's all about comfort at the weekend and this outfit is major - perfect for our morning tescos run for smoothie ingredients and flowers, maybe a walk around the park, lunch at a cute little countryside cafe and more recently, a few trips to the travel agent whilst we try to decide on holidays for the year!
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